19 December 2018, The Tablet

Christmas and New Year radio - Sound traditions


You always assume that the boy treble bidden to embark on “Once in Royal David’s City” as the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College, Cambridge (BBC Radio 4, Christmas Eve, 3 p.m.) kicks into gear has been given a day or two’s warning. In fact, as the documentary Once in Royal David’s City (BBC Radio 4, Christmas Day, 1.15 p.m.) reveals, the musical director makes his pick shortly before the choir begins to process up the aisle. The 12- or 13-year-old chosen has at best a couple of minutes to compose himself before serenading a global audience. Highlights include an interview with the 100-year-old David Briggs, who sang in the very first broadcast in 1928.

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